Any author who has already self-published their book has run into the upfront costs of investing in the publishing process.
Whether the cost is for hiring an editor, paying for a book cover, or purchasing ISBNs, self-publishing requires a lot more money out-of-pocket than traditional publishing. Instead of a nice $5,000+ advance from their publisher and then royalties afterward, most authors invest anywhere between $ 500 – $3,000+ when they set their mind to self-publishing.
For example, according to Reedsy’s 2022–2023 data, average self-publishing costs range up to $2,000 for an editor and $750 for a book cover designer.
Add in all those hours writing your book without any financial compensation, help, or support, and you’ve got a lot of upfront loss.
Most authors can only hope their book will sell enough to be worth the investment, but many never see a full ROI (return on investment) to cover those initial costs.
So how much would each part of publishing your book roughly cost if you really set your mind to it?
Even though I’m a huge advocate for learning how to take on all the self-publishing rules yourself, the one thing I must stress that you spend money on is editing.
It’s really difficult to edit your own work, especially if you’ve been staring at it for years. Getting a fresh set of eyes on your novel or nonfiction is crucial for making sure you have the perfect product to sell to your readers.
However, reading and editing an entire manuscript takes time and skill. And since editors are incredibly talented and good at what they do, they cost a lot of money.
The size of your manuscript matters…
Lengthy manuscripts, especially within the fantasy or science fiction genres, can be extremely costly when it comes to the editorial phase. In contrast, poetry books or romance novellas tend to be a lot shorter so the cost will be cheaper.
Most editors charge either per word or per page. So, if you wrote 200 Pages for your romance…